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Subject Librarian:

Shanda Hunt

This subject covers: the study of poisons, their detection, their effects, and the methods of treatment for the conditions they produce.

Article Databases and Indexes

* Premier Resources *

This is the primary source of journal article for the health sciences. You can search MEDLINE and preMEDLINE databases with full text access to all MEDLINE e-journals subscribed to by the University of Minnesota TC Libraries. MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database/article index that contains over 17 million references to journal articles. Coverage is from 1949 to the present. Over 5200 journals worldwide in over 37 languages are accessible.

SciFinder is the best database for chemistry-related topics. Registration is required, and you must download VPN and then log in to it for off-campus access.

SciFinder includes journal and patent references,chemical regulatory data, and supplier, reaction, and substance information.

Search within a comprehensive interdisciplinary collection of journal article citations. Subjects generally covered are within Science and technology, arts and humanities, and social sciences . Use the citation web to find articles and journals with the most impact. Coverage runs from 1975 to the present. Find help on their website.

Academic or Scholarly Articles Subject Indexes

For current content, search BIOSIS Previews. Biological Abstracts (part of BIOSIS Previews) is one of the foremost sources of bibliographic references to the life science journal literature. Coverage is international, and includes agriculture, biochemistry, biomedicine, biotechnology, genetics, botany, ecology, microbiology, pharmacology, and zoology.

Available through Web of Science platform, BIOSIS Citation Index covers life sciences and biomedical research covering pre-clinical and experimental research, methods and instrumentation, animal studies, and more. Access content from journals, meetings, patents, and book and search precisely with BCI indexing and enhanced MeSH terms.

CAB Abstracts covers agriculture in its broadest sense, including crop production, forestry, environment, animal health and nutrition, veterinary science, agricultural engineering, biotechnology, soil and water, agricultural economics, recreation and tourism, rural sociology, and human nutrition and health. Indexes journal articles, monographs, conferences, and other primary literature.

To gain off-campus access to all the articles and journals in full text in the Libraries via Google Scholar you will now need to set your Library Settings to University of Minnesota Twin Cities in Google Scholar (see this tutorial for details on how to do this). Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web. To connect to the full text, click "FindIt@U of M Twin Cities" in your Google Scholar search results. Learn more: Google Scholar FAQ

Alternative interface to the MEDLINE/PubMed health and biological sciences database. Provides a number of powerful features not included in PubMed (e.g., direct export of citations to your RefWorks account), and retains many advanced functionalities of PubMed (e.g., ability to use PubMed's syntax to refine your searches).

Provides archival access from 1898-1968 to scholarly literature in the fields of physics and astrophysics, electrical engineering, electronics, computing and control, and information technology. Indexed are primarily journal articles and conference papers, with some books, technical reports, and dissertations. The database provides bibliographic citations plus abstracts. Produced by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Search MEDLINE databases for journal articles in the health sciences. MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database/article index that contains over 17 million references to journal articles. Coverage is from 1949 to the present. Over 5200 journals worldwide in over 37 languages are indexed.

TOXLINE includes citations to journal articles, monographs, technical reports, theses, letters, and meeting abstracts, papers and reports on Toxicological, pharmacological, biochemical and physiological effects of drugs and other chemicals

General Indexes to Magazine, Journal & Newspaper Articles

The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database. Includes full text access to over 4,000 scholarly (peer-reviewed) publications back to 1975. A great place to start your research on any topic. Find search tips on their help page.

Indexes, Other

Collection of toxicology-related databases from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). Databases include MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) and RTECS (Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances)

Contains information on hazards related to many occupations, whether due to chemicals, diseases, or other associated risk factors.

Online collection of toxicology-related databases including HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank), IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System), TOXLINE, and several others. All databases can be searched at once.

Catalogs and Bibliographies


Search with MNCAT to find books, journals, etc. owned by the library. Search by keyword, subject, title, or author for materials on your topic.

General Reference Sources

Biographical Sources

Provides brief factual information on approximately 130,000 living scientists in biology, physical sciences, public health, mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Includes birthdate, education, professional career, and honors received.

Focuses particularly on contemporary scientists and includes selected bibliographies, chronologies, tables of scientific discoveries, and quotations.

Chemical Compounds

ChemIDplus indexes more than 368,000 records for chemical substances cited in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) databases. It is searchable by Name, Synonym, CAS Registry Number, Molecular Formula, Classification Code, Locator Code, and Structure (requires Chime plug-in or ISIS/Draw). The records contain information on structure, names and synonyms, formulas, registry numbers, and some physical properties in addition to toxicity information and links to NLM-indexed articles which cite the substances.

Database of descriptive & numerical data on chemical, physical & biological properties of compounds; systematic & common names; literature references; & structures. Contains all compounds included in: Dictionary of Organic Compounds (255,000 records) Dictionary of Natural Products (170,000) ; Dictionary of Inorganic and Organometallic Compounds (101,000) ; Dictionary of Drugs (40,000+) ; Dictionary of Analytical Reagents (14,000)


Gives technical and descriptive data for common substances and phenomena. Identifies thousands of chemicals by name, physical properties, source of occurrence, shipping regulations, CAS number, hazards, derivations, synonyms and applications. Available online through Knovel as well as in print.

Defines over 6,500 terms associated with biochemistry, biotechnology, botany, cellular biology and genetics, as well as chemistry, ecology, medicine, pharmacology and toxicology terms. Both words and definitions can be searched.


Global information resource listing over 8,000 organizations, product and service providers in the biotechnology industry.


Covers all areas of biochemistry including aspects related to molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, and biophysics. Intended for a cross-disciplinary audience.

This is a comprehensive and concise guide to evolutionary biology, from the origins of species to the selfish gene and beyond.

Handbooks and Manuals

Annually published reference source for chemical & physical property data, nomenclature, structure, & composition of substances. Includes physical constants of organic & inorganic compounds, conversion factors, & much more.

Series of standard, authoritative guides to research laboratory methods in the life sciences; the Libraries subscribe to Plant Biology.

Limited access to articles published through 2011 for Cell Biology, Human Genetics, Immunology and Neuroscience.

Limited access to articles published through 2015 for Bioinformatics and Toxicology.

Limited access to articles published through 2016 for Microbiology, Molecular Biology, and Protein Science.

Classic reference source for chemists; contains over 10,000 entries on drugs and pharmaceuticals, common organic chemicals and laboratory reagents. The entries include data such as chemical names, molecular formula, chemical structure, physical data, literature references, and more.

Nature Protocols is an online resource for experimental protocols, primarily in biology and chemistry, including authoritative, peer-reviewed 'Nature Protocols' and an interactive 'Protocols Network'. The two create a dynamic forum for scientists to upload and comment on protocols.

Extensive online catalog of human genes and genetic disorders, with detailed monographs on mechanistic and clinical aspects of the genes, disease states, and variations.

Safety Information

An electronic version of the seven-volume work from the Royal Society of Chemistry, contains approximately 5,300 chemicals and their impact on the environment. Detailed information about the toxicity of the chemicals, physical properties and regulatory requirements is also presented.

Internet Resources

Electronic Texts

Growing collection of online, open access biomedical books; full text can be searched directly from this interface.

Gateways & Megasites

Statistics and Data

Data Resources

Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) finds regions of local similarity between biological sequences; the program compares nucleotide or protein sequences to sequence databases and calculates the statistical significance of matches. BLAST can be used to infer functional and evolutionary relationships between sequences as well as help identify members of gene families.

Public-domain archive of simple genetic polymorphisms in a variety of model eukaryotes, including single-base nucleotide substitutions (SNPs) as well as small-scale multi-base deletions or insertions, and retroposable element insertions and microsatellite repeat variations. Each dbSNP entry includes the sequence context of the polymorphism (i.e., the surrounding sequence), the occurrence frequency of the polymorphism (by population or individual), and the experimental method(s), protocols, and conditions used to assay the variation.

Provides data sets resulting from an automated genome analysis and annotation process for selected eukaryotic (primarily vertebrate) genomes. The Ensemble software system aims to provide accurate, automatic analysis of genome data; analysis and annotation maintained on the current data; presentation of the analysis to all via the web; and means of distribution of the analysis to users. Data can be accessed through text search and genome/chromosome browser functions. Through a data upload and distributed annotation system, Ensembl offers users the ability to display their own data sets in the genome browser framework; users may also share data with others.

Overviews and allows text-based searches of over 25 of the bibliographic databases and biomolecular data resources held at NCBI (the National Center for Biotechnology Information), including PubMed, OMIM, Entrez Gene, and Entrez Taxonomy; this site performs a simultaneous search of the various databases and reports back the number of hits in each -- you can then select an individual database to view detailed search results.

Searchable database of genes from a wide range of organisms, supplying key connections to other databases providing map, sequence, expression, structure, function, citation, and homology data; a good starting point for investigating the structure and role of a particular gene.

Collection of nucleotide (DNA and RNA) sequences from several primary database sources, including GenBank, RefSeq, and PDB; text-searchable through Entrez Nucleotide; sequences are similarity-searchable through BLAST. The number of bases in these databases continues to grow at an exponential rate. As of April 2006, there are over 130 billion bases in GenBank and RefSeq alone.

Provides text-based searching of records in the Molecular Modeling Database (MMDB), containing 3D macromolecular structures of proteins and polynucleotides; links to the Cn3D structure viewer program (download required). MMDB contains over 28,000 structures and is linked to other NCBI databases including sequences, bibliographic citations, taxonomic classifications, and sequence and structure neighbors.

ExPASy (Expert Protein Analysis System) proteomics server is dedicated to the analysis of protein sequences and structures as well as 2-D PAGE; includes the UniProt Knowledgebase (Swiss-Prot and TrEMBL) Protein knowledgebase; the PROSITE - Protein families and domains database; SWISS-2DPAGE - Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis database; ENZYME - Enzyme nomenclature database; and SWISS-MODEL Repository - Automatically generated protein models. Site also provides a number of analysis and prediction tools.

GenBank is the National Institutes of Health genetic sequence database, an annotated collection of all publicly available DNA sequences. Sequence data in GenBank is searchable through sequence similarity algorithms such as NCBI BLAST, and textual annotation of GenBank sequence records is searchable through the NCBI's Entrez Nucleotide search tool.

Suite of databases and associated software, integrating current knowledge on the function and utility of biological systems (PATHWAY and BRITE databases), information about genes and proteins (GENES database), and chemical compounds and reactions (LIGAND database). KEGG is especially noted for its metabolic pathway database.

The major national resource for molecular biology information; NCBI creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates biomedical information. Includes bibliographic and data resources such as PubMed, GenBank, OMIM, and many more.

The Map Viewer provides special browsing capabilities for a subset of organisms in Entrez Genomes. Map Viewer allows you to view and search an organism's complete genome, display chromosome maps, and zoom into progressively greater levels of detail, down to the sequence data for a region of interest. The number and types of available maps vary by organism, and are described in the "data and search tips" file for each organism. If multiple maps are available for a chromosome, it displays them aligned to each other based on shared marker and gene names, and, for the sequence maps, based on a common sequence coordinate system.

Provides many protein sequence databases and analysis tools, including the Protein Sequence Database and its successor, UniProt, functional analysis tools, protein classification and ontology systems.

PDB is the single worldwide repository for the processing and distribution of 3-D structure data of large molecules of proteins and nucleic acids; the site provides a variety of tools and resources for studying the structures of biological macromolecules and their relationships to sequence, function, and disease.

PubChem provides information on the biological activities of small molecules. It is organized as three linked databases within the NCBI's Entrez information retrieval system. These are PubChem Substance, PubChem Compound, and PubChem BioAssay. PubChem also provides a fast chemical structure similarity search tool. Links from PubChem's chemical structure records to other Entrez databases provide information on biological properties.

The Genome Browser provides a visual display of chromosomal informaiton, allowing zoom and scroll over chromosomal and DNA sequence, showing the work of annotators worldwide. Other tools included on the site provide other means of accessing genomic and proteomic data: Gene Sorter shows expression, homology and other information on groups of genes that can be related in many ways; Blat quickly maps your sequence to the genome; Table Browser provides convenient access to the underlying database; VisiGene lets you browse through a large collection of in situ mouse and frog images to examine expression patterns. The site contains the reference sequence and working draft assemblies for a large collection of genomes. It also provides a portal to the ENCODE genome annotation project.

Style Manuals and Writing Guides

Bibliography Software

Citation managers are software packages used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to: import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources save links to pdfs and other documents, and in some cases save the document itself format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA and many other styles include your own notes

Style Manuals

Includes recommended citation format styles for journals, books, conference publications, patents, audio visuals, electronic information, maps, legal materials, newspaper articles, bibliographies, dissertations, and scientific reports. "Internet formats" supplement available at

Useful tool for finding the full title of a journal in biomedicine, if you only have an abbreviation, or for determining from the full title what the official NLM and ISO abbreviations of the title are (e.g., for preparing a reference list).

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition) is the style manual of choice for writers, editors, students, educators, and professionals in psychology, sociology, business, economics, nursing, social work, and justice administration.

Writing Guides

The book helps scientists write papers for scientific journals. Using the key parts of typical scientific papers (Title, Abstract, Introduction, Visuals, Structure, and Conclusions), it shows through numerous examples, how to achieve the essential qualities required in scientific writing, namely being clear, concise, convincing, fluid, interesting, and organized.

Covers guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. In addition, discusses retraction of research findings, order of authorship, definition of a peer-reviewed journal, and conflict of interest

Library Information

Bio-Medical Library

Diehl Hall, 505 Essex St. S.E.
East Bank, Minneapolis Campus
Reference: 612-626-3260; Circulation: 612-626-4045